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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PLA’s New ‘Airborne’ Accretions

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which in December 2010 commissioned its first three of nine Ka-31 shipborne airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters into service, is now gearing up to receive its first home-grown Z-8JA shipborne AEW helicopters. The Ka-31s were ordered in 2006 from Russia’s Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise JSC as part of an order for 18 helicopters, which included nine shipborne Ka-28PL anti-submarine warfare helicopters as well. Earlier, in 1998, the PLAN had ordered its first eight Ka-28PLs. Present plans call for the Ka-31s and Z-8JAs to be deployed on board the PLAN’s two existing Type 052C Luyang 2-class guided-missile destroyers (DDG 170 Lanzhou and DDG 171 Haikou) that are each armed with eight 300km-range YJ-62 (C-602) anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), on the four additional Type 052C DDGs now under construction, and on the PLAN’s four Type 071 Yuzhao-class landing platform docks (LPD). The Ka-31, which is also capable of providing over-the-horizon targetting cues for ASCMs, comes equipped with an E-801M solid-state early warning radar capable to detecting and tracking up to 20 targets simultaneously at the distance up to 150km (for airborne aircraft) and up to 285km (warships). The Z-8JA helicopter, on the other hand, is a home-grown product, with Jingdezhen-based Changhe Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) building the helicopter and CETC supplying the X-band KLC-7 AEW radar suite, which can also function as a synthetic aperture radar for maritime surveillance. The Z-8JA, equipped with a two-man glass cockpit and a mission management system manned by a two-man crew, is powered by three WZ-6 engines each rated at 1,512hp (1,128kW), has an internal fuel capacity of 3,900 litres, has a service ceiling of 3.1km, and a mission endurance of four hours.
Meanwhile, the commercial arm of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)—China United Airlines—is presently negotiating the procurement of 18 pre-owned Ilyushin IL-76MD transport aircraft from private Russian aircraft owners (there are an estimated 106 IL-76MDs in service with several Russia-based aviation companies), and deliveries are due to begin by this April and be completed by June 2012. The PLAAF has fast-tracked the procurement of these 18 IL-76MDs so that these aircraft are all available for regional emergencies/contingencies that call for either the swift evacuation of Chinese citizens abroad, or evacuation of Chinese infrastructure property from foreign soil. It is believed that the PLAAF is bracing for the breakout of hostilities in the Middle East, especially in Syria or Iran.
It may be recalled that the PLAAF has since 1991 acquired 20 IL-76MDs from Russia (B-4030 through to B-4049) and four IL-76MDs (30071, 30072, 30073, and 30074) from Uzbekistan’s Tashkent Aviation Production Association (TAPO). While the 19 remaining Russia-origin IL-76MDs are presently operational with China United Airlines and are actually operated by the PLAAF’s 13th Air Division based at Wuhan in Hubei Province, and the 34th Air Division based at Nanyuan air base in Beijing, the four TAPO-delivered IL-76MDs were converted between October 1999 and 2006 into airborne early warning and control (AEW & C) platforms, called Kong Jing-2000 (KJ-2000). The first KJ-2000 technology demonstrator (converted from an existing IL-76MD transport owned by China United Airlines) made its maiden flight at the China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) in Yanliang, Shaanxi Province. Following this, four KJ-2000 AEW & C platforms were acquired and all four are now operated by the PLAAF’s 26th Air Division based in the eastern Zhejiang province near the Taiwan Strait.
In September 2005, China and Russia’s Rosoboronexport State Corp had inked an agreement worth US$1.5 billion under which TAPO was to have supplied the PLAAF with 16 IL-76MD transports, with Russia’s Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP supplying the remaining 18 IL-76MDs and four IL-78MKK aerial refuelling tankers. This deal, however, has been frozen since March 2006 due to TAPO’s inability to execute the order. Consequently, Russia took all responsibility for fulfilling the PLAAF’s order, and the first IL-76MD to be built by Aviastar-SP is due for delivery by the end of this year.  
In another development, Indonesia will soon ink an agreement with China for procuring C-705 anti-ship cruise missiles. A total of 40 C-705s will be procured for the 20 guided-missile fast-attack craft (FAC-M) now being built by Indonesia’s PT Palindo Marine Industri (PMI), based in Batam, off Singapore. The first such KCR-40 FAC-M--KRI Clurit 641—was launched on April 26, 2011 by Indonesia’s Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. This FAC-M, which was built with the help of graduates from the Surabaya Institute of Technology, is equipped with a THALES-supplied Sensor Weapon Control (SEWACO) combat management system, a CETC-built target acquisition/engagement radar for the C-705, plus a 30mm cannon and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns. The FAC-M is 44 metres long, 8 metres wide and 3.4 metres high, can develop a maximum speed of 30 Knots. Each KCR-40 FAC-M will house two stern-mounted inclined C-705 launchers. The KRI Clurit was named after a Madurese dagger. Clurit has a form of a question mark believed to reflect the character of Madurese people who will never be satisfied with what they have and their tenacity.—Prasun K Sengupta


gInxs said...

Any idea what this was about?

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the article Prasun,

I have to ask why haven't we able to make a naval helicopter ? Is there a plan to develop a naval helicopter ??

What actually happened to Dhruv naval version ? I mean why wasn't HAL able to develop it ? Why they didn't asked for Russian or European help ?

Dhruv is a very good platform for a naval version alsos. Can we still expect HAL to restart the Dhruv naval version ?

Will there be a naval version of HAL's LUH and LCH ?

When are gonna start the IMRH project ? I hear there will be naval version of that chopper.

Is the current fleet of transport aircrafts enough for a country which has one of the largest military in the world or which face with natural disaster every year ?

Any deal signed by India during Singapore air show ?

Recently drdo decided to invest alot of money in setting up new facilities. Can you tell us the progress of these facilities ? Like there is one for UAVs, one for electronic warfare, new wind tunnel facility for testing hypersonic missiles.

There was also one wind tunnel facility which was proposed by Boeing as an offset for i think P8i deal or C17 deal (i am not sure which deal but yeah they are building a wind tunnel facility for India). Any news on this ?

Do we have all testing facilities to test the future air-crafts like AMCA, AURA etc. ?

How were the winter trials of arjun mk2 ? How many upgrades of the total 93, still to be included in arjun mk2 ? You also never told us how did our new arjun performed against Singapores Leopard ?

Anonymous said...

Dear sir
Several Questions of the BLOGGERS from the earlier post have not been answered

Please do so

And please ALSO tell us as

"HOW INDIA will Fight its FUTURE
WAR with China "

Now that you have given us all the details of Chinese strategy
and weapons to be deployed

PLEASE tell us HOW do we counter them

SK said...

Prasun you have long ago advocated the boon for IN to switch to Solid state AESA for its Heli Borne AWEC like the Seaspray from Selex. Has the IN seen the it contemplating in upgrading the present fleet to this configuration ?

Also does the Navy has any plans to make or acquire Guided Missile Fast attack crafts similar to what the Indonesian navy is acquiring ? These seem to be low cost alternative for littoral water defense.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Germany has announced in the past about project "Superkavitierender Unterwasserlaufkörper" to develop a Hi-speed Supercavitation torpedo similar to the Russian Skval. Do you know the status of this project.

F said...


It has been claimed that mid course guidance update for the firing of the TNI-AL Yakhont was done by a Type209. It is even technically possible, given that sonar cant be used for this role and that no one else uses subs for this role.

Anonymous said...

from your previous thread - " Had extremely enthralling discussions with the RSAF & Boeing officials regarding the comparative performance parameters of the Super Su-30MKI & F-15 Silent Eagle. Needless to say, even the USAF is keenly interested in the on-going developments in India with regard to the sequential and rather envious introduction of three types of combat aircraft with new-generation AESA-MMRs & IRST sensors, i.e. Super Su-30MKI, Rafale & FGFA. "... could you please share with us ...

abs said...

what do u make of the recent public statement by kapil kak stating that in the future there would no wars requiring the IA with IAF and IN playing the most significant of roles?? does this mean our politicians would have no 'escalatory' fears on usinf them like during the kargil war??

abs said...

^^ and if possible aanswe my last questions from ur previous thread :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun da,

Although it is irrelevant from the topic..but can you through us some light on PAD (prithbi air defence) & AAD. I know that DRDO is working on that project . I wanted to know whether DRDO is getting any help from Israel( like barak system) or from Russia in PAD & AAD projects.

KSK said...

Seems to be quite an achievement ... I cant understand why they are using Dhruv as platform instead of LCH platform ?
And it could be Army specific with Helina and other sensors ..

any specific reasons for using Dhruv ?

Anonymous said...

Which project you think WILL(Not Must) be scrapped
1) Procurement of 187 Fennec or Ka226?
2) HAL LUH Program for other 197 ?

And are Light Observation Helicopter and HAL Light Utility Helicopter two different programs ??

What is the difference between them like usage and specifications??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To GLNXS: he answers are all in the report itself, i.e. a calibration flight-test not for the Mirage 2000, but for fixing or ascertaining the RCS of the radar-reflector-equipped decoy-payload carried by the Lakshaya-2 PTA. Only after all this is fixed will it be possible to derive the optimised RCS of the radar-reflector-equipped decoy-payload for providing a realistic radar-target simulation of various airborne targets like a combat aircraft, or an ALCM or an ASCM.

To Anon@10.02AM: Why haven't we able to make a naval helicopter ? Is there a plan to develop a naval helicopter? THE DHRUV ALH IS a naval helicopter used for SAR and ASW and it will be standard on-board equipment on the four Project 28 ASW corvettes.
Will there be a naval version of HAL's LUH and LCH? YES, ONLY FOR THE LUH for now to replace the existing SA.316B Alouette III/Chetak.
When are gonna start the IMRH project? ONLY A K ANTONY KNOWS WHEN.
Is the current fleet of transport aircrafts enough for a country which has one of the largest military in the world or which face with natural disaster every year? Once the 10 + 6 C-17As arrive along with six more C-130J-30s, it will be more than enough, since the IL-78MDs too are due to be upgraded to the IL-476 configuration in future.
Any deal signed by India during Singapore air show? NONE
Recently DRDO decided to invest a lot of money in setting up new facilities. Can you tell us the progress of these facilities? Like there is one for UAVs, one for electronic warfare, new wind tunnel facility for testing hypersonic missiles. ALL THIS IS FINE, but what about setting up an indoor or outdoor RCS measurement facility for combat aircraft like the Tejas or FGFA? Why hasn’t this been done till now?
There was also one wind tunnel facility which was proposed by Boeing as an offset for i think P8i deal or C17 deal (i am not sure which deal but yeah they are building a wind tunnel facility for India). Any news on this? SITE SELECTION for this facility is now underway.
Do we have all testing facilities to test the future air-crafts like AMCA, AURA etc? OF COURSE NOT. What is reqd is a dedicated NFTC located within a purpose-built air base, instead of the existing facilities in Bengaluru.
How were the winter trials of arjun mk2? How many upgrades of the total 93, still to be included in arjun mk2? You also never told us how did our new arjun performed against Singapores Leopard? NOT THE ARJUN MK2, BUT THE ARJUN Mk1A. The Arjun Mk2 is still another two years away. The Singapore Army Leopard 2A4s haven’t yet arrived in India for life-fire exercises.

To Anon@11.24AM: To look into the future one has to delve into the past. Therefore, I’ve decided to divide the analysis into three parts: firstly, one has to trace the origins of the Sino-Indian rivalry and objectively analyse India’s fatal flaws in her grand strategy post-1949. Secondly, and consequently, one has to analyse China’s national defence force posture against India; and thirdly, what are the future options for India. I’m presently drafting the first part, for without it one will not be able to grasp the third part.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: For the projected Sea Kinf Mk42B and Ka-28PL upgrade programmes, such AESA-based MMRs are now being evaluated and examined. Options are available from Europe, Israel & Russia. In fact, such radars can easily be retrofitted on to existing naval Heron-1s too and this too is being looked into. AS for FAC-Ms, the Indian Navy has no such plans for acquiring them, but eventually the existing Tarantul-1s corvettes will have to be replaced by something like the VISBY or the larger MEKO-ASL, starting 2020. The FAC-Ms are reqd for waging littoral warfare in and around island archipelagos, and not along shallow coastlines of the kind found along India’s neighbourhood.

To Anon@2.15PM: No, am not in possession on any specific project-related data.

To FARIS: That is laughable, to say the least, because for deriving mid-course targetting coordinates—especially over-the-horizon—an airborne search radar with a target extractor has to be employed, both of which are not available from any submarine. Even when SSKs have to launch ASCMs like the SM-39, an airborne search radar has to be employed for beyond-the-horizon target acquisition—something only MPAs or shipborne multi-role helicopters can provide.

To DASHU: Will do so in the near future.

To ABS: Wait for the first of a three-part series on the Sino-Indian balance of military power.

To Anon@8.44PM: It’s all there at:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KSK: The reason the Dhruv ALH has evolved into the Rudra is simple: the IAF doesn’t want the Army’s AAC to fly attack helicopters and therefore, the Army was forced to go for a compromise, i.e. convert some of its planned allocation of utility-configured Dhruvs into helicopter gunships. Now see the contradiction in that story: while the Army wants to use the Rudra gunship for high-altitude anti-armour operations, the IAF too has identical plans for its projected LCHs! So who’s going to fly such missions in the end? The Army or the IAF? This confusion can only lead to another bout of needless inter-services rivalry. On top of all this, even the planned LOHs for the AAC will be armed with Mistral ATAMs and two ATGMs, meaning while the Army’s LOHs will be responsible for target acquisition, the IAF’s attack helicopters will be responsible for target engagements—an arrangement that can only end up in uncoordinated anti-armour operations, thereby causing collateral damage due to friendly fire! Lastly, those four divert/stabilisation thrusters of the HELINA are just too dangerous for the launch helicopter, although they’re quite safe for the ground-launched Nag.

To Anon@10.30PM: Regretably, none of them will be scrapped. The LOH and LUH will have a common airframe. Only its sensor/weapons fitments will differ. LOH is for forward observation for armoured formations and field artillery, while the LUH is for CASEVAC and liaison.

Anonymous said...

Prasu w.r.t to you answer to anon@10:04.You mentioned that Indian IL-76/78MD's are due to upgraded to IL-476. I was under the impression that the IL-476 is a newer aircraft based on the IL-76 with higher power engines PS-90A and increased space -load carrying capacity.

If our older planes are upgraded to this configuration will they be able to handle the extra weight the new engine brings ? The airframe and wings need to extensively reinforced to do this. How much usable life will be left in the airframes at the time of upgrade ?

Does this upgrade program include our Phalcon AWEC as well ?

Anonymous said...

Hi, does the Mirage 2000 UPG has the Spectra EW suite?? Also when so much care has been given to the protection of the Rafale from radar guided threats by providing such a highly advanced Spectra EW suite then why very little has been done to protect it from IR guided threats? Only flares have been provided for protection from IR missiles. Nowadays very advanced IR missiles have come up with ECCM features and Focal planar array seeker which can't be fooled by flares. So when DIRCM have been developed for small helos then why can't this go on the Rafale? Also the Rafale can have an IR jammer. Why hasnt any attention been paid to protecting the ac from modern IR missiles? Pls reply.

sbm said...

Prasun, I thought the naval ALH was a thing of the past. Has it been revived for ASW purposes ?

Not too long ago, arecent photo was shown of the beast with its radar attached making flights.

So could this mean that the ASW Dhruv is back ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.22AM: Structural reinforcement of the existing IL-76MD’s wings and wing-fuselage integration box, plus those for the engine pylons have already been factored in for the upgrade package. The airframes will be zero-lifed (that’s exactly when the fly-by-wire flight control system will be installed as well) and be certified under a totally new service life-extension schedule, so the question of remaining airframe life out of the existing TTSL doesn’t arise.

To Anon@1.50AM: Of course it will. DIRCMs are good for those airborne platforms (like heavylift helicopters and airliners) where power-supply sources are not a problem. In a combat aircraft, however, this is a big problem due to paucity of space. The only type of sensor that is not fooled by flares is the TV-guided air combat missile. For the rest, including the latest IR-guided AAMs, flares are the best active decoys available. There are several ways of employing such decoys by resorting to various patterns of flares deployment.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: My dear friend, regrettably there’s always a catch whenever one hears about or reads stories/revelations/exclusives/breaking news emanating from the ‘desi’ mass-media sources about issues like the naval Dhruv ALH. For instance, the ‘claimed’ reason why the Indian Navy did not order the Dhruv ALH’s ASW version, according to the ‘desi’ media, was that this platform had deficiencies concerning its flight endurance, this revelation coming from the then Indian Navy Chief himself. Now that’s only half the story. What was not reported or investigated by these ‘desi’ journos was what kind of shipborne helicopter was required by the Navy and specifically for which warships? Only after one digs deeper and finds answers to these questions can the ‘real’ story emerge. The devil, after all, always lurks within the details. Therefore, here’s what it is all about: 1) the Navy wanted a shipborne multi-role helicopter with a MTOW of 10 tonnes (which the Dhruv ALH clearly isn’t) for its three Project 17 FFGs, three Project 16A FFGs, three Project 15 DDGs and three project 15A DDGs. 2) The reason why a 10-tonne MRH was sought was due to the helicopter’s ability to provide an airborne ASW capability in support of those warships that are engaged in either standalone ASW picket-duty in the high seas, or are forming an escorting ASW screen for a carrier-based battle group. 3) The Project 28 corvette, on the other hand, was never designed for undertaking such missions and instead it will be involved in coastal ASW surveillance for securing the channel approaches to ports/harbours. 4) For implementing this mission, the reqmt is not for a helicopter with high flight endurance, but for an airborne ASW platform that can rapidly get airborne (hot-n-high performance) and equally rapidly activate its ASW sensors, i.e. the chin-mounted search radar, dunking sonar and MAD in order to pinpoint the location of a lurking undersea target, whose general presence has already been detected by the Project 28 corvette’s on-board hull-mounted panoramic sonar or the active towed-array sonar. In other words, amigo, for the Project 28 corvettes the reqmt has always been for a single-mission ASW helicopter (like the Dhruv), and not a MRH. Therefore, the Dhruv ALH’s ASW version was never out-of-the-picture, but is waiting to be deployed only after its originally intended host platform becomes available. Apologies for such a lengthy explanation, but since common sense is not commonly available nowadays, especially with the ‘desi’ mass-media folks, I’m afraid a detailed explanation was called for from your's truly.

sbm said...

Not lengthy at all - very informative. Thanks

I think that the Dhruv could also be gainfully used to augment deployment of MARCOS and VBSS teams from the NOPVs and even the Sukanyas when they are employed on anti-piracy ops.

At present what's the total inventory of Dhruvs by service ? I think 76 have been delivered to date or so ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The Dhruv's Mk4 version with glass cockpit will go on board ALL Navy AOPVs, especially the new ones being acquired. They also ought to go on the ICGS' OPVs, but this hasn't been decided yet. The Dhruv ALH's naval version ought to be fitted with a belly-mounted lightweight FLIR turret of the types available from FLIR Systems & ELBIT Systems. In addition, the twin lightweight torpedo carriage pylons should also be made to qualify for carrying 2.75-inch rocket pods. All this would make the naval Dhruv Mk4 an ideal airborne anti-piracy weapon.
Bulk of the Dhruvs supplied to date are of the Mk3 variety,i.e. with conventional cockpit instrumentation. Deliveries of the Dhruv Mk4 with glass cockpits are now underway.

sbm said...

Thanks a lot. But how many Dhruvs are in service now and what does the future for production ?

The Lancer helicopter - are only 12 in service ?

I ask this because this type of armament is also employed by Mexican Navy Bo-105s and I wonder if such an armament package could be fitted to the rest of the Chetak and Cheetah fleets to expand their existing versatility to the light attack role ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The combined outstanding orders for the Dhruv Mk4/Rudra now stand at 100+, and a similar repeat order is expected between 2013-2017. For the Lancer, the armament options are limited because the powerplant remains the same. If the SA.316B Alouette III/Chetak & SA.315B Lama/Cheetah are to carry additional weapons, then by consequence, they will also have to be fitted with a self-protection suite and FLIR turrets. Since this in turn will increase the MTOW of both helicopters, the ideal solution will therefore be to upgrade these helicopters into the Chetan & Cheetal versions, i.e. powered by the Turbomeca Shakti or even TM333-2B engines. If this is done, then the Cheetal and Chetan can easily be used for LOH & LUH for the following decade, thereby obviating the need for imported LOH/LUH airframes. A decade will be more than enough even for firms like HAL to come up with the indigenously designed LOH/LUH, which could be produced in large numbers (500 at least) for all three armed services.

sbm said...

Ok - and I agree - but how does the Lancer work out with only 12 in service and 20 Cheetals on order ?

Infact aren't 20 Cheetals and 10 Chetans on order already ?

We must consider the Chetaks were cleared for 4 AS 11B1 missiles - I trust that no missiles are currently carried ?

If that option was successfully used, why not armament of the Lancer type ?

I think right now, the sole armament carried is a single MMG ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: The Lancer was developed for airborne fire-support for COIN operations. It can therefore carry two 7.62mm gun-pods plus two 2.75-inch rocket launchers (each housing two rockets). No more Lancers are on order. No one has ordered the Chetan as well. Cheetals on order are less than 20, 12 if I'm not mistaken and that too only for the IAF. The Army remains interested in the Cheetal, but to date no firm orders have been placed. About 80 Cheetahs are now in service and these could easily be upgraded into Cheetals. I saw a MAWS/decoy dispenser fit plus an all-composite ATGM launcher & its structural fitment for the Cheetal last February during Aero India--all developed by a private firm. None of the Chetaks are presently qualified with any kind of ATGMs. And they shouldn't be, for the LCH can easily be converted into an Army-specific LAH. Instead, the existing 100-odd Chetaks ought to be converted into Chetan variants and be used by the Central Armed Police Forces (like the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, Assam Rifles and SSB) and the National Disaster Management Authority for CASEVAC and SAR.

sbm said...

AFAIK the Lancer armament is 2 12.7mm guns and 6 70mm rockets.

The NDRF has allegedly ordered 12 Dhruv hasn't it ?

I agree though - the Chetan and Cheetal have a lot of scope - if not with the armed forces (for whatever reasons) then with the CAPFs.

In 2009 the helo breakdown for Chetaks and Cheetahs was this:

IAF - 45 Cheetah 87 Chetak
IAAC - 127 Cheetah 55 Chetak
Navy - 64 Chetak
Coast Guard - 17 Chetak

This is direct from HAL.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

I have a little request .

Could you PLEASE write a SMALL
IRAN USA war will pan out

Please take your own time

There is no hurry

The actual war is atleast a six months away

Then when the actual war happens
we can compare the actual events
with your predictions

I hope the other bloggers too
would enjoy it

My name is Chan said...

Dear Prasun,

I have request to make. Could you do a coverage on the development of KCR-40 FAC-M--KRI Clurit 641 by Indonesia. It looks very interesting that Indonesia is doing well in defence production. I read this article

In it says that the indigenous content of the Ship is quite high. Not sure how high it is though.

Anonymous said...

Dear prasun da,

What the tentative date for HAL LCH to be deployed for our armed forces.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: You're right about the Lancer's weapons fit. Its description appears at:
Here are the HAL-produced figures: Total no of Chetaks delivered since 1965 is 347, while 273 Cheetahs were delivered from 1973. Last May, the IAF took delivery of its last two of 10 Cheetals, while the Army has not ordered any more Lancers after taking delivery of 20 units. The IAF wants to order 10 more Cheetals, while the Army wants to acquire 20 Cheetals. Altogether, HAL expects orders for 60 Cheetals. These Cheetals will feature a new electronic backup control box, cockpit voice recorder, RWR & MAWS, and twin large AMLCD displays instead of electro-mechanical instrumentation. Regarding the Dhruv ALH, close to 110 units have been delivered to date, out of a total order book for 159 units. Orders for another 80 are awaited.

To Anon@9.33AM: Before that, kindly read these:

To Chan: The indigenous content is high only as far as hull fabrication goes. The SEWACO combat management system is from THALES, while the fire-control system for the C-705s is from CETC of China. The propulsion system too is imported. The optronic fire-direction system and marine navigation radar too are imported.

To Anon@10.19AM: Targetted IOC achievement date for the LCH is set for 2013.

abs said...

how do u see the presence of chinese troops in POK?? is it a ploy to have a de-facto military base in the POK?? and from which the chinese migh launch an offensive against us during any future contingencies??

abs said...

^^ apart from the above there are also a few other things i would like to ask u about, i had asked them before but you did not reply, however i have got so many doubts that it would be of great help if u answer them :)
1)does the IA have any plans for NCW systems similar to the USA's TAIS and ASAS??
2) in out of area operations how would the NCW systems of the armed forces be having as their backbone for communications and networking?? is it the SATCOMS??
3)i read the CIDSS consists of an Electronic Warfare System Network?? do u know anything about its scope and operational parameters??
4)recently i read that the ASL was developing a passenger hypersonic plane for transportation with potential for being a satellite launching vehicle at low cost. i would like to ask if its a hypersonic military plane or just a passenger transport plane cuz since when is it the charter of DRDO to develop civillian aerospace technologies??

please do answer this time :)

Yawn said...

One has to give Credit where it's due!! the PLA has made optimum use of 'obsolete' platforms like the Z-8 (Super Frelon) and H-6 (TU-16) using their inherent advantages. I wish the Indian strategic establishment should that sort of vision.

Prasun, another author had asked about the KCR-40 class missile boat being built by Indonesia. I've heard of a 'KCR-70' programme to build a bigger ship, most likely with South Korean assistance. Wonder if we would be interested in funding or cooperating on it; something like that or the UAE's Baynunah class would be very useful compared to glorified Yachts like the LCS.

sbm said...

Prasun, in light of the Indo-Chinese situation, what is the combat potential of the ITBP ?

I have seen them equipped with the full range of infantry weapons up to 81mm mortars and SSG-69 sniper rifles.

Speaking of sniper rifles, what types does India operate and how many ?

I believe that the SVD is in widespread service alongside the Galatz (in much smaller numbers), the NSG uses the PSG-1 and SG designated marksman rifles while the SSG-69, Mauser SP-66 and the MSG-90 have all been reported in Indian army service.

For larger calibres, the Gerpard has allegedly been ordered withe the Russian OSV-96 alongside the earlier Denel NTW 20 (400 I think).

Any more details ?


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ABS: Firstly, they’re not fighting PLA troops within POK, but personnel of the PLA’s construction corps. They’re unarmed and are involved in only civil engineering works. Secondly, no one’s seeking any base inside POK, least of all the Chinese. What the PLA wants is to set up a network of SIGINT stations in an arc around the FATA region of northwest Pakistan so that communications of Uighur separatists located there as well as in Xinjiang can be monitored. Thirdly, as of early 2011, China has stopped referring to the state of J & K as a disputed territory under India’s administrative control and now officially regards the entire state of J & K to be disputed territory, meaning the LAC ends at Uttarakhand and does not proceed up to Aksai Chin! Consequently, what this means is that in future, if a limited high-intensity border war breaks out between China & India, it will be waged in this very area, and not in northeast India’s Tawang Tract. And that’s why the PLA is beefing up its military infrastructure and warfighting capabilities in both Aksai China & POK. And that’s precisely why the Indian Army wants to raise an air-assault division that will be deployed during peacetime in the eastern sector (so that it always stays acclimatised for high-altitude warfare) but not for waging war in northeast India. Given the omni-role and omni-directional nature of such an air-assault division (now that the Mi-17V-5s and C-17As are being procured to ensure swift deployments), it will be easy for the Army to quickly deploy such a division to any trouble-spot all along India’s northern borders, be it in Sikkim, Uttarakhand or J & K. Bottomline: there’s no serious threat to Arunachal Pradesh from the PLA since no meaningful territorial gains are possible there. On the other hand, the Aksai Chin is of great strategic importance to China and therefore will be the principal battleground, with the areas around Sikkim and Uttarakhand serving as secondary pressure-points for staging distracting feints.
As for NCW systems for the Indian Army, the elements will closely mirror those chosen for the US’ Land Warrior programme. Both General Dynamics C4I & Raytheon was selected last December by the Indian Army to provide customised ‘hubs’ and ‘nodes’ for the Indian BMS & F-INSAS elements. During expeditionary operations, the Army will use SATCOMs as well as tactical internet networks. All elements of the CIDSS have integral EW sub-systems. It is not ASL alone that’s developing re-usable hypersonic spacecraft (like a space shuttle), but Israel, India & Russia that are involved in this trilateral effort.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To YAWN: Talking of credit being given, two days ago I was ‘informed’ that during a formal closed-door seminar held in New Delhi on China’s military-industrial prowess, an ex-Indian Army Brigadier has specifically targetted my blog and my regular editorial contributions to FORCE magazine for ‘blowing up’ China’s military-industrial might/achievements when, in reality, he remarked all that China was engaging in was reverse-engineering products already developed elsewhere in the world! If this kind of skewed logic prevails within India’s strategic establishment, then I’m afraid that the only type of vision prevailing there will be myopic.
For the TNI-AL, the KCR-70 programme does indeed exist as replacements for the ex-East German Parchim-class corvettes. The primary & preferred foreign naval shipbuilding partners for Jakarta now hail from South Korea (for LPDs and SSKs) and The Netherlands (for corvettes of the SIGMA family), as only these countries are prepared to extend generous project implementation funds/loans of the type reqd for Indonesia’s domestic shipbuilding programmes. Companies from China like ALIT, CETC and CPMIEC are new entrants that have struck gold there. I personally don’t see even remote prospects for Indian shipbuilders striking success in Indonesia.

To SBM: The combat potential of the ITBP is better than those of Assam Rifles or BSF or the SSB. But does that automatically translate into an appreciable combat capability? The answer is a firm NO. Why? Primarily due to the prevailing dysfunctional command-and-control system. For instance, the ITBP like the BSF & SSB, and unlike the Assam Rifles, comes under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and therefore is not under the operational control of the Indian Army. What this means is that whenever there’s a border transgression conducted by the PLA’s Border Defence Regiment (BDR) personnel, the ITBP is mandatorily to first report this incident to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and only after the Ministry gives its approval, is the local ITBP sector commander authorised to brief his nearest Indian Army counterpart about such ‘incidents’, meaning at least four days elapse before the Indian Army gets to know of such incidents. Under such prevailing circumstances, it is impossible to engage in either border management or border dominance. The BDRs don’t have any such limitations since the BDRs are seamlessly integrated with the regular PLA formations along the LAC. Therefore, it’s no use discussing combat potentials when such potentials don’t ever get translated into proven capabilities on the ground.
As for sniper rifles, in addition to the ones you’ve mentioned, the newer ones in the inventories include the OFB-made clone of the NTW-20 and the Barrett 12.7mm AMRs (for MARCOS & NSG).

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Why wud India conduct joint exercises with the Saudis? Why would they want to stand with them?
I think the only reason we have to keep ourselves in their good buks is for the Indians sending back money to their families(mostly keralites as per Media reports).

Also wat do u think the Russians and Chinese are likely to settle for in return for unopposed western intervention in Syria?

Anonymous said...

Hi, according to you only TV guided missiles cannot be fooled by flares whereas IR guided missiles can be fooled. But this is wrong. The latest gen IR missiles have FPA seekers which can't be jammed by flares. I have read so in Airpoweraustralia site. Also all present IR missiles have a two collie seeker, IR and UV. Flares provide only IR radiation and not UV. So the ac remains unprotected from UV domain. Also if flares were so effective then why has DIRCM came into the existence. Does the Mi-17V5 feature DIRCM or any infrared jammer other than flares? Pls reply.

sbm said...

That problem stems from trying to maintain the facade of a police unit on the borders.

The Assam Rifles should be better than that because of their military pedigree and officers.

I thought the OFB clone had been rejected as too heavy ?

What are quantities like ?

I have also noticed an increasing use of daylight telescopes and reflex sights with the INSAS rifles in the regular infantry. Is this becoming the norm ?

LEE said...

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.06AM: It is not about fooling or jamming the IIR/UV-guided AAMs, bit saturating their dual-mode seekers. The Stingers had dual-mode seekers since the mid-1980s and yet were successfully countered by Soviet flares (deployed in saturation pattern) during the Afghan civil war in the 1980s. DIRCM came into existence only for heavier airborne platforms (like AW-101 and CH-47 helicopters), especially civilian platforms that are prohibited by international civil aviation law from carrying explosive/flammable materials on-board. The Mi-17V-5s of the IAF have both flares dispensers & IR jammers.

To SBM: The Assam Rifles too is under the Union MHA (administrative control), but under the Army’s operational control. The BSF, SSB and ITBP are under the Union MHA’s administrative and operational control. Although the ITBP is now known as ITBPF, it has not helped matters anywhere along the LAC as the problems are far deeper: it all started first in the early 1950s when the Govt of India referred to the McMahon Line as a ‘frontier’ instead of an international political boundary. Consequently, Beijing took advantage of this anomaly in 1962. Then in 1993 after the Govt of India invited a far greater disaster when it agreed to convert the McMahon Line into the LAC, meaning an international boundary was from then on converted into a militarily defensible ceasefire line, which consequently means it is up to any of the two parties to militarily alter this line by either breaking the ceasefire or by transgressing into one’s territory and staying put. This is what happened in Sumdorong Chu in early 1987 and China’s BDRs have since then stayed there on a permanent basis. That’s how Sumdorong Chu was lost for good. Have you ever come across any better instance of unilateral appeasement over the past 50 years? And the ‘desi’ media always raises a hue and cry about the PLA’s border transgressions without even bothering to find out why such transgressions have been taking place at all and why was the Mcmahon Line converted into the LAC!!!
Am unaware of the quantities of in-service sniper rifles. AS for daylight telescopes and reflex sights with the INSAS rifles becoming the norm, yes it is, both for the armed forces and CAPFs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.49PM: Why not? What’s wrong in conducting exercises with the Saudis? It’s not just the keralites in Saudi Arabia, but also the Kashmiris. And the Saudis have engaged in the same type of intelligence-sharing with India as the Israelis & French do, although this has not been publicised. At the moment, the Ruskies & Chinese are on the wrong side of history. The China-Malaysia JV in South Sudan got kicked out yesterday because during the civil war this JV had struck deals with the Sudanese warlords in the south. Now it is payback time, and expect to see the PLAAF once again send its IL-76MD transports via Karachi for evacuation purposes. Beijing is perfectly aware of what is likely to happen between now and June this year and therefore is resorting to emergency procurements of pre-owned Russian IL-76MDs, as I’ve stated above.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SBM: It is also pertinent to ask the following:
1) Why exactly did the Govt of India not authorise the then Indian Army COAS Gen K Sundarji's request for forcibly evicting the PLA from Sumdorong Chu in early 1987?
2) Why the then GOC-in-C Eastern Command, Lt Gen V N Sharma (who later on became the COAS), expressed his inability to mount such a limited offensive campaign?
3) Why Rajiv Gandhi decided to make an official trip to Beijing in 1988?
4) What was the connection between EX Brass Tacks (in the west) & OP Falcon (in the east)?
5) Did India's armed forces knew all along that the prospects of waging concurrent wars along two fronts were always there since the early 1960s, but it was India's political decision-makers that persistently failed to grasp this reality?
6) Whay was India's covert nuclear weaponisation effort given the formal go-ahead in only 1990?

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Eager to listen to your further comments...

sbm said...

Waiting for your views on those questions !

The issue of integration of the CAPFs with the army has been a sore issue for some time. It is hindering their development to their full potential. Only part of it is the MHA. I would place some of the blame - especially in the cases of the SSB, CRPF and BSF - with the high commands of those forces.

Yet, correct me if I am wrong, for all their shortcomings, the CAPFs at section to company level perform quite well.

With respect to the daylight telescopes, reflex sights and II sights for rifles and LMGs, how widespread is the current scale of issue and what does the future hold ?

Anonymous said...


Have you read about this new generation electronic warfare system to be used on UAVs, aircrafts and satellites (range 500km +) and new SAR which is about to tbe tested on a Dronier ? Please shed some lights on these projects especialy an EW with 500km+ range.

KSingh said...

hey Prasun, another great article.

A few Qs:

1)When are we likely to see the ICG RFI for medium lift helos go out as this has been a stated requirement for some time and I hear 2012 is the year we will see RFIs go out and the process start in earnest.

2)What is the current status of the F-INSAS program? As I believe we were meant to see first trails on active units commence in late 2011, it is now 2012 and we still haven't heard anything in this regard

3) Why is the F-INSAS surrounded in so much secrecy? Compared to other similar programs in the world the IA/DRDO etc are very closed-lipped about it.

4) What is the actual cost of the ENTIRE F-INSAS program to euip all army in USD?

5) What exactly is holding up the F-INSAS project? Or was it just poor time projections?

6) If a UN security council sanction for use of military force against Syrian regime is given are we likely to see Indian involvement militarily? And what are the rapid action forces the IA/IAF maintain? For example I believe the US army keep 2 airborne brigades (~10,000 men) on alert 24/7 to be deployed with all their gear (light vehicles and all) anywhere in the world in 18 hours. Of course that is the US but India must have some equivlient like in 1988 with 50th Air Independent brigade.

7)Regarding the MARCOs' descion to float RFIs and eventually procure Integrated Combat Systems (similar to F-INSAS) what platforms are they likely to evaluate and from whom? And what exactly will the system comprise of (and will it include the nitty-gritty such as kevlar gloves, ballistic eyware, sights for weapons, flashlights for weapons, combat vests etc)? And do you see other Indian SOFs going down the road once they have seen the system in use with MARCOs and adopting the same gear? Or will IA have to go for F-INSAS? And are there separate provisions within the F-INSAS program for SOFs given their inherently different needs?

8) with NSG going for a similar ICS (the "super commando" upgrade) by 2015 are there really 3 completely different ICSs being adopted by the same nation, albeit by different arms.

Thanks so much in advanced, I look forward to your response.

F said...


Apart from spares for KD Rahmat in the 1980's, spares from HAL for the RMAF's Aloutte 111s, batteries for the Fulcrums and mission computers for the MKMs, what else has been bought by Malaysia from India?

To fulfill its requirement for 6 ASW configured helicopters, do you think it's a foregone conclusion that the RMN will get the Wildcat?
This would after all make the most sense, from a commonality perspective as both the Super Lynx and Wild Cat use the same engine.

There was mention in a blog that the RMN has specified that the hangars on the Gowinds must be large enough to take a Cougar. Have you heard this?

Lastly, would you agree that despite some attractive offers from Chinese companies [such as the local production of FN-6s if the KH-1 was bought], that the MAF is extremely reluctant to buy any Chinese products and that the order for a handful of FN-6 MANPADS was just to placate the Chinese. It's paper specs aside, how do you think the FN-6 compares to current generation Western and Russian MANPADS? Also what is all this fuss about the Chinese SmartEye radar when the British Air Defence Alerting Device [ADAD], which is passive and less bulky, can be bought for target alerting?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

The Army has said that even if the Chinese have got the possession
of Sumdorung Chu BUT the adjoining
HEIGHTS are in India's CONTROL

So we are not at a loss any way

We can keep an eye on them

Let the Chinese keep Sumdorung Chu

It only increases the length of their Supply lines and
whenever there is any increase
in activity we will come to
know immediately about the Chinese

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

The AGRESSIVE posture shown by India
in 1986 87 GAVE us the BENEFIT of the 1993 PEACE and TRANQUILITY agreement with China ON THE LAC

In the NINETIES Our economy was BAD
We Needed peace on LAC in order
to FOCUS ON LOC with Pakistan

Anonymous said...

Hi the present service ceiling of the Rafales is 50000ft. The IAF variant will have new higher thrust engines. Then will the service ceiling go up from the present figure. Can the service ceiling be increased to 60000 ft. Will all the Rafales for the IAF be completely EMP hardened for nuclear strike ? When will IA raise an airmobile division for countering rapid deployment in case of hostilities with the PLA?

Shree said...

Hi Prasun,
Whats the deal with NCTC?
Why did UPA decided to pursue it without referring to the State govts ..... the intention may be good but in our country nothing is so easy...
what do you think the future of NCTC be?

Shree said...

Foreign NGOs fueling protests against TN Nuclear Plant and BT Brinjals ?
Why is that?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Mr.RA 13: : The answers to those questions are not my views, but factoids, which will be uploaded soonest in a new thread.

To SBM: The answers to those questions are not my views, but factoids, which will be uploaded soonest in a new thread. Regarding the CAPFs, the ENTIRE problem is a creation of the Union MHA. For instance, those CAPFs made responsible for border patrolling—like the SSB, ITBPF, Assam Rifles & BSF—ought to come under the direct operational control of the Indian Army, as is the case with the BDRs of China, and the Rangers & Frontier Corps of Pakistan. Secondly, it just doesn’t make any operational sense to have a multiplicity of CAPFs charged with border patrolling, and things can be streamlined if all such agencies were consolidated into one BSF. Multiplicity of border patrolling agencies leads to the needless duplication of administrative and training resources/infrastructure, and duplication of support infrastructure. And that’s precisely the reason why the CAPFs have been denied critical support capabilities like utility/CASEVAC helicopters and cargo/utility transport aircraft, as well as specialised training centres. As far back as 2004 I had suggested the creation of a common Air Wing that could be utilised by not only the various CAPFs, but also by the NDMA.
With respect to the daylight telescopes, reflex sights and II sights for rifles and LMGs, their dessimination among the CAPFs is taking place across-the-board, albeit at a slow pace.

To Anon@5.36AM: Those items were all showcased at a UAV seminar last year, about which I had already written about last year. EW with 500+km range is all about ESM.

To KSingh: Yes, the RFIs will go out this year, but contract award will take place only by 2014, probably in favour of the AW-139 from AgustaWestland. The F-INSAS is not a secret by any stretch of the imagination. Its various components have been showcased in several DEFEXPO & Aero India expos. The delays are not due to slow procurement plans, but due to administrative hick-ups, given the fact that F-INSAS is but a tiny component of the network-centric AirLand battlespace network that is to be put in place by not just the Indian Army, but the IAF as well. Consequently, several integration/interfacing issues have first to be figured out by the two armed services before one even starts drawing up the individual operating architectures of various components. On top of that one has to figure out how existing legacy systems like tactical radios (more than 50,000 of which 13,400 alone are on-board armoured vehicles of various types) will be interfaced with new-generation software-defined comms systems. All in all, this entire effort may cost well over US$6 billion between now and 2022.
Regarding Syria, India is most unlikely to get militarily involved in any way, unless it is purely for peacekeeping purposes, like the Indian Army detachment now at work in southern Lebanon. As for rapid-reaction forces meant for out-of-area contingencies, the Indian Army component is just a Battalion-size para formation, which can be activated within six hours. As for Integrated Combat Systems for MARCOS, more than 95% of the reqmts will be met by US-based OEMs. For the Army’s F-INSAS component, US-based OEMs like Gweneral Dynamics C4I & Raytheon have already been selected by Indian Army HQ and are now firming up industrial partnerships with BEL. The ICS for the NSG is of a much smaller nature and is far less complex. It is mostly SWAT stuff.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FARIS: There were some 25 BEL-made tactical ground-to-air comms radios sold in the late 1990s for the RMAF’s forward air controllers through a subsidiary company owned by EKRAN BHD’s Tan Sri Ting, plus a laptop-based HUMS for the MiG-29Ns. For the RMN’s ASW helicopter reqmt, a medium-lift helicopter in the 10-tonne is desired and therefore the selected model will have to be bigger than the Super Lynx. Most probably either the AW-149’s navalised variant, or the NH-90 or the Cougar. No US- or Russia-origin helicopters will be considered, period. All FFGs of the RMN, both existing and to-be-acquired, are reqd to accommodate helicopters like the S-61N or S-70 Black Hawk and eventually the Cougar, for it is on board these helicopters that VIPs and VVIPs always travel whenever they’re hosted on board any principal surface combatant of the RMN. Neither the Tang DiPertuan Agong nor the Captain-Commandant of the RMN can ever be expected to hitch a ride on a Super Lynx. The FN-6 is a re-engineered Mistral and its technology was legally transferred by Matra SA to CPMIEC in the late 1980s. Lastly, in Southeast Asia, the prevalence of high humidity makes IRST systems like ADAD an extremely unviable proposition. The SmartHunter LPI radar offers far higher levels of reliability in terms of target acquisition & tracking.

To Anon@5.34PM: Firstly, that’s not what the Army has ever said, because that is sheer lie. Secondly, it never increases China;s supply lines, since the terrain leading up to the LAC from the Chinese side is a gradual gradient, as opposed to the Indian side of the LAC which is not only steep, but is also highly vulnerable to landslides and mudslides. Thirdly, Indian supply lines leading up to the LAC are just dirt-tracks that take between 3 days and 22 days to be negotiated before one even sees the LAC.

To Anon@5.37PM: There wasn’t any aggressive posture displayed by India along the LAC. What was displayed was ‘riposte’. The 1993 agreement was about renaming the McMahon Line as the LAC. The equally disastrous ‘Peace & Tranquility’ agreement followed in 1996. Your last comment about India requiring peace along the LAC due to the parlous state of her economy will make even the Vietnamese look like a far mightier military power than India.

To Anon@5.48PM: Of course the service ceiling will go up to some 57,000km. The IAF’s Rafales are not the combat aircraft designated for launching nuclear weapons and therefore they don’t need to be EMP-hardened. The IA’s air-assault division should be in place by 2018.

To Shree: There’s nothing wrong with the NCTC. Previously the same arrangements were in place for the MACC. Folks just don’t realise that the NCTC will have liaison personnel based in every state working hand-in-hand with state-level police agencies. Regarding NGOs fuelling protests against nuclear power plants, these are mere allegations, since there’s no conclusive proof of any mala fide intent of any NGO thus far.

sbm said...

I concur with your assessments Prasun.

However, India has to deal with the situation as it will unfold today and into the future. The Past is a guide of what we got wrong and the few things that might have been done right.

The Assam Rifles have ended up as a COIN force that sometimes guards the border ! A long way from the Cachar Levy.

I agree with the concept of a single MHA air wing and it looks like PC is listening ! He wants a single force starting with 8 transports and 16 helos.

WRT the reflex, II sights and telescopes - is progress any faster in the army ?

Anonymous said...

You said : "For the Army’s F-INSAS component, US-based OEMs like Gweneral Dynamics C4I & Raytheon have already been selected by Indian Army HQ and are now firming up industrial partnerships with BEL."
When is the induction likely to start ? What all accessories are included in these C4I from GD and Raytheon for IA's FINSAS program ? Is BP jacket, ballistic helmet and nice backpacks included in this ? What i am saying that can you tell us which items are included in FINSAS that IA is purchasing and from which vendor ?

Is IA really gonna equip every soldier with these systems ? Are these systems cheaper when compared to similar systems from French and Israeli based OEMs ?

Those wearable computers and GPS will also be from US companies like GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer ? Who will be providing them ?

Are IA soldiers equipped with NVGs (Not talking about SF) ? How many NVGs are in service and for how many goggles we have placed the orders ?

You said : "EW with 500+km range is all about ESM."
Can you explain some more ? What is ESM ?
DRDO was building new testing range for EW near Hyderabad, is it ready ?

Is the modernization of MDL and GRSE completed ?

KSingh said...

Hey Prasun,

Thanks a bunch for answering my Qs.

Regarding just 1 PARA BN on standby. How long would it take to ready and deploy additional rapid action forces like PARAs?

And do you know if their is any force in IA similar to 75th Rangers of US army who act as supporting elements to full fledged SOFs? Could Sikh Li be considered a parallel? Or does IA have any plans to designate (and equip) a unit as such?

Also regarding the current news regarding the corruption accusations and the AW-101 for IAF VVIP communication flight, am I right in assuming these accustions are purely aimed at the Italians and not India? Also what's your gut feeling, do you believe these accusations have any factual basis? And do you see any ramifications on the delivery of the birds as of now?

And when do you think we will see F-INSAS in its finished form and fielded on active IA elements? And do you see the F-INSAS being a roaring success or are you on the side of those saying it has failed before it has even taken off? And relative to other programs just how revolutionary and game-changing is this program?

once again thank you and I look forward to reading your responses.

F said...


Ideally, the Wild cat should be bought to supplement the Super Lynxs. VVIPs can still land on the LCS using the 2 S-70s operated by 10 Squadron. If the RMN was really serious about ASW and American helicopters was not an option, the best solution would be to operate Merlins from land. The problem with using the Cougar at sea is that it is not marinised and it hasn't been integrated with a surface search radar, torpedoes or dipping sonars.

Did you read about the RMN Super Lynx that suffered corrosion problems in the Gulf of Aden and had to be sent to Oman for servicing?

Anonymous said...

orshoupsir ,
it makes sense to have 1 BSF , 1 counter insurgency force (CRPF) , & 1 CISF (including RPF).
But , what do u have to say about training of these forces to tackle all odds..r these units adequately trained ?..or is the MHA simply adding manpower from villages ?
what about the officer cadre of these the IPS officers who head these forces ever serve in field?
y cant we have 1 academy on the lines of IMA to train all the officer cadre of these CAPFs at 1 location(at least at asst. comndt. level)..& these will be the people who can head the force..IPS r better looking after state police..isn't it?
how do u compare the ORs of army & CAPFs in terms of education , training , disciple , valour ?

sbm said...

Prasun, how will the Project 15A and 15B Destroyers compare in air defence capability to the RN Type 45 destroyers which they seem to be very proud of ?

Anonymous said...

Some time ago Oman was supposed to have been trying INSAS rifles for their force.Is this news sorrect and what happened since?India also issued a RFI for 120mm mortars some time ago. Any progress to that?

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us any new deals and JVs likely to be signed during Defexpo 2012 ?

Have you heard about this new article on Tarmak : Futuristic soldier as a system undergoes skill tests at CAIR ? Is it not FINSAS ?

One of my friend on one of the defence forum told me about his recent talk with a higher level IA official related to artillery. He asked him about IA's interest in Nirbhay missile. He told him IA has not interest in a subsonic missile with a range of 1000 km. He said they have secretly increased the range of Brahmos to 1000km but are not revealing it as it will be bad for both India & Russia and Nirbhay is just for capability demonstration.

Anonymous said...

Are we gonna sign any new deal in this financial year i.e. by March end ?

What is stopping 197 chopper deal, 22 attack chopper deal, M777 deal, Javelin ATGM deal or the basic trainer deal ? I mean M777 and Javelin deal are hanging since 2009, 197 LUH final report was also submitted by IAF in 2010.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I don't know why you are talking about Assam Rifles and comparing it with BSF, ITBP and SSB when the later three are meant for border patrolling and Assam Rifles is like Rashtriya Rifles of the North East i.e. Assam Rifles is a counter-insurgency force meant to tackle the insurgency problems in the NE and not meant for border patrolling. So can't compare ITBP with AR.

SK said...

Prasun you have a long time ago reported that India had come into some agreement with USA to set up a "PAVE PAWS" like sea based sensor near the Andaman & Nicobar for the ATBM shield. Whats the status of this project ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@4.50AM: F-INSAS is a network just like BMS & BSS. It is not hardware-centric and therefore does not include BP jacket, ballistic helmet, wearable computers and nice backpacks. Service induction of the F-INSAS network won’t get underway till 2016.

To KSingh: I’ve already given above the mobilisation time of six hours for just 1 battalion of PARAs. As for support elements, the only other formation that can be mobilised is that of the NSG. Regarding the AW-101, it is an internal affair of the Italians and does not concern any Indian entity. It is similar to the DENEL affair, which had involved only South African entities and had nothing to do with any Indian citizen, directly or indirectly. F-INSAS has to be a roaring success simply because there isn’t anything else out there that will be a suitable alternative. This is not a project about competing bids for the supply of such combined arms-centric networks.

To FARIS: Neither the Wild Cat nor the Super Lynx Mk99 can be considered as multi-role naval helicopters, which is what the RMN wants. A MRH is able to conduct anti-ship missile strikes; ASW with lightweight torpedoes, dunking sonar & MAD; and SAR. Land-based Merlins cannot conduct ASW /ASV operations when the theatre of operations is in the high seas hundreds of nautical miles away from any coastline. The Coufar Mk2 was marinised almost a decade ago and is operational with the French Navy and it can carry twin AM-39 Exocets & FLASH dunking sonar.

To SBM: The design conversatism displayed by the Indian Navy’s Naval Design Bureau never ceases to amaze me. For instance, when it was possible to equip the three Project 16 Godavari-class FFGs and three Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs with gas-turbines in the mid-1980s and 1990s, the Navy stubbornly stuck to steam engines for both the Project 16 and Project 16A FFGs and the CODAG formula for the DDGs. This has continued with the three project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs, which could well have been avoided and the space saved could instead have been better employed for additional weaponry. Only with the Project 15B DDGs will this regressive trend be finally terminated. If one compares the air-defence capabilities of the Project 16A DDG & the UK’s Type 45 DDG, the latter comes up tops primarily due to its ability to be networked with the US Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.56AM: Can you tell us any new deals and JVs likely to be signed during Defexpo 2012? HAVEN’T HEARD ANYTHING AS YET. Because this year’s DEFEXPO will be a gigantic organisational mess. Why? Because planning & marketing for such expos requires at least 18 months, whereas in case of DEFEXPO 2012, the dates were finalised only last December!!!
Have you heard about this new article on Tarmak : Futuristic soldier as a system undergoes skill tests at CAIR ? Is it not FINSAS? IT IS RELATED TO F-INSAS, but these labs are just toying with ideas and it will be years before they can come up with anything tangible.
One of my friend on one of the defence forum told me about his recent talk with a higher level IA official related to artillery. He asked him about IA's interest in Nirbhay missile. He told him IA has not interest in a subsonic missile with a range of 1,000km. THAT’s ABSOLUTELY RIGHT & IT proves my earlier remark about the Nirbhay being a supersonic ALCM.
He said they have secretly increased the range of Brahmos to 1,000km but are not revealing it as it will be bad for both India & Russia and Nirbhay is just for capability demonstration. THAT’s IMPOSSIBLE, SINCE THE BRAHMOS’ airframe would then have to be enlarged to accommodate the extra fuel tanks. The BrahMos was originally designed to carry enough fuel to reach the 550km mark.

To Anon@2.30PM: If not Assam Rifles, then who’s guarding and patrolling the India-Myanmar border right now? You? If as you claim the Assam Rifles is a counter-insurgency force meant to tackle the insurgency problems in the NE, then why does the Indian Army need AFSPA for the NE? The Army might then as well remove its counter-infiltration and counter-insurgency grids in the NE. The fact remains that the only dedicated counter-insurgency force existing today within India is the Rashtriya Rifles, with the rest of the CAPFs like Assam Rifles only acting as supporting forces. You can’t have a counter-insurgency force devoid of its own integral intelligence-gathering machinery and everyone knows that barring the SSB, no other CAPF has its own intelligence-gathering machinery.

To SK: That’s what the sea-based floating range of the DRDO is all about. It is still work-in-progress.

SK said...

Prasun could you share more info or guide me to a weblink on the "sea-based floating range of the DRDO", I am not aware of any details. Thanks in advance

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SK: The great Dr V K Saraswat (Bhagwan aur Vigyan ka Pujari) had made a public statement about this last year when the DRDO was facing problems from the Odisha state govt regarding the ITR.

Anonymous said...

" THAT’s IMPOSSIBLE, SINCE THE BRAHMOS’ airframe would then have to be enlarged to accommodate the extra fuel tanks. "
Well thats an important point. I also said this but he said that if some changes were made to the airframe which can easily point to the increased range of Brahmos, wouldn't indian armed forces will keep them away from public eye ? I mean other than Brahmos in various Expos and in National Parade there's no other picture of Brahmos (Correct me if i am wrong).

Anonymous said...

" F-INSAS is a network just like BMS & BSS. It is not hardware-centric and therefore does not include BP jacket, ballistic helmet, wearable computers and nice backpacks. Service induction of the F-INSAS network won’t get underway till 2016. "

I am just asking what exactly are the things that IA is purchasing from US based OEMs like General Dynamics & Raytheon ???? Because as you said FINSAS is mainly the network which will be indian and also who is building the FINSAS network ???

F said...

Why are the Super Lynx and Wild Cat not considered multi role naval helicopters. Both have already been or are being integrated with ASMs and torpedoes. And in the case of the Wild Cat will receive an IR version of the Sea Skua.

Cabin space is indeed an issue but if the customer so desired, both can be fitted with a dipping sonar and processing equipment. If I'm not mistaken, at least one Super Lynx customer has fitted its fleet with dipping sonars. The only problem with the Super Lynx and Wild Cat is its range and endurance, which however may not be a problem for the RMN, given the area it operates in.

Prasun , would you agree with what has been written below? This would mean that for a single ship or a single ASW aircraft, the chances of successfully tracking and prosecuting a contact would be very slim, unless they were working in pairs.

''They will know there is a submarine around with one, but not exactly where. This is basic 101 ASW science. There is a reason why ASW aircraft drop more than one sonobuoy. There is a reason why few OPVs or cutters don't have much ASW equipment outside of obstacle/mine avoidance sonar dead ahead. There is a reason why navies which take ASW seriously have ASW aircraft.''

'' Even using passive sonar, you'll need two hydrophones in the water, that means having two ships with sonars, two helicopters with dipping sonars, two sonar buoys, or any combination of two sonar sources in the water within detectable range of the sub. One ship with a single helicopter on deployment in the area isn't enough. That's the reason many US Navy ships have large hangers for two helicopters, even with their tow arrays.''

Anonymous said...

so you are saying bhramos now itself having range of 550km?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.55AM: What I’m trying to explain is that one cannot extend the ranges of existing BrahMos-1’s Block1/2 versions, since the missiles are cannisterised and therefore until the end of their shelf-lives the missile rounds cannot be tampered with. Rane extension can take place only when the missile rounds go back to the BIC for re-lifing. The BrahMos-1’s Block-3 rounds are the ones that have a 550km-range and they have been built so from the start.

To Anon@11.47AM: If you would have read my earlier response above on February 23 at 11.11PM in this very thread, you wouldn’t have asked this question.

To Faris: The problem with the Super Lynx Mk99 is not just the cabin space, but the on-board power availability. A true ASW helicopter will have on-board MAD sensor, acoustic signals processor, dunking sonar & sonobuoy dispenser, plus twin lightweight torpedoes. All this cannot be accommodated within the Super Lynx Mk99. Regarding the quote, the writer is talking about bistatic operations and the consequent need to have two undersea hydrophones. This is easily achieved by a warship’s own hull-mounted active/passive panoramic sonar plus the stern-mounted active/passive towed-array sonar transducer. Thus, a single warship is more than enough for conducting ASW sweeps. Dunking sonars and sonobuoys come into play only towards the end-game, i.e. AFTER a submerged target’s presence has already been detected by airborne MAD or a combination of hull-mounted active/passive panoramic sonar plus the stern-mounted active/passive towed-array sonar transducer, and it’s then time for pinpointing/localising/identifying the target with the help of sonobuoys & dunking sonar. It is a sequential process. Another way of achieving early target detection by bistatic means is to deploy a dunking sonar on board an unmanned RHIB which cruises ahead of the warship and can then engage in bistatic operations with the warship’s hull-mounted active/passive panoramic sonar.

To Anon@2.32PM: Not ‘bhramos’, but the Block 3 variant of BrahMos-1.

Anonymous said...

Prasun Da, Can Akash missiles be use for destroying incoming short range ballistic missiles like M-9, M-11?

SK said...

Prasun now that the Russian IL-476 is unveiled. Will IAF refloat a tender for MRTT between A-330 and IL-476 or 478 ? Which one would you pick ?

Anonymous said...

How effective are the measures taken by Pak against IAF MMRCA

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.59PM: No, it most definitely can't. Furthermore, none of the DRDO-developed interceptor missiles has as yet demonstrated the ability to engage and destroy solid-fuelled ballistic missiles.

To SK: The RFP will definitely be re-floated for MRTTs. A lot now depends on Russia's ability to ramp up production of stretched versions of the basic IL-76MD-derived IL-476 & IL-478. If a stretched fuselage IL-476 is offered, then it has good chances of emerging as the lowest bidder (L-1).

To Anon@10.09PM: There vare a lot of presuppositions in that analysis. For instance, why should anyone automatically assume that the IAF's Rafale M-MRCAs are meant to be used against Pakistan? And given the parlous state of Pakistan's economy, how low or high are the PAF's fuel stocks required for waging a high-intensity air campaign? The analysis also does not address the threat posed to the PAF's ground-based network of air-defence radars by the IAF's armed drones like the Harpy & Harop. Lastly, how is the PAF coping with the problems of operational conversion to the JF-17s, given the fact that the tandem-seat version of the JF-17 has yet to emerge?

Anonymous said...

Hey Prasun,
Have you heard anything about new turret that OFB will be going for IA's 155mm track self propelled artillery ? Are they looking at German Phz2000 ? Is there any chance they stick with Bhim because Denel turret is good ?

When the deliveries of Skyshield going to start ?

When can we expect various naval chopper deal to be signed ?

Shaurya said...

It appears that most of the major air forces around the world have decided go in favor of fifth gen manned combat aircrafts (like f-35, pak-fa, fgfa, K-X, j-20) as future need for their fleets(although there are not essentially replacemnt for any fourth gen ac) , barring only France ( they are using all their resources for developing unmanned nEuron) . Any particular reason, why France didnt go for the usual pathway of inducting manned fifth gen fighter?

Regarding Fgfa, how is its future export prospect? What about the IPR, Sukhoi is the sole IPR owner or HAL has some share too. And in future will Russia offer Fgfa for export or they will only push Pak-fa(just like they are doing with Yakhont against Bramhos)!

Anonymous said...

Prasun have heard about the recent media reports about government approving 2 more Arihant Class SSBN because of China's growing military might ?

I can't wait and thats why i have to ask, what are Finance ministries plans this year ? Is economic uncertainty gonna effect defence budget ? Or this year we will expect a record increase in defense budget ?

I also wanna know where did Indian Army and IN spent money this year ? According to budget IA is alloted the money money but they spent the least.

buddha said...

K-15 has both the versions, SLBM and SLCM:
IS IT TRUE.......

Anonymous said...

Prasun whats the progress of K-4 missile ? I mean it has been tested a couple of time, am i right ? If yes then why have they stopped testing K-4 ? Is there a 6000 km range SLBM in the pipeline ?

Shaurya said...

Any particular reason(except budget) why France went straightway for an UCAV(nEuron) instead of procuring (buying or developing) any fifth gen stealth fighter first, like all the major air forces around the globe have done?

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasn da,

What will be Indian's answer for the misssile build up of CHINA near indian border. I know we have brahmos regiment there but that lacks reliability in Chinas mail-land. what is our best possible reply to this threat in current

Anonymous said...

How can a missile can have both version SLBM and SLCM.

Its says its an advanced version of Prithvi, so is it liquid fueled?

Then its a let down.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@3.26AM: It’s not about the turret, but the howitzer contained within the turret that matters the most. Had it not been for this suicidal blacklisting of DENEL, all these problems would have been sorted out long ago. However, should a new-design 155mm/52-cal turret-mounted howitzer be chosen, then the ideal hull for this SPH ought to be that of the T-72CIA, which comes powered with a 1,000hp engine.

To Anon@7.42AM: It is the S-3 & S-4 hulls. S-2 is Arihant. S-3 and S-4 will be of similar displacement. The rising prices of crude oil will most definitely impact upon the capital expenditure account of this year’s defence budget.

To Buddha: Of course not. What the writer has got confused about is the K-15’s ability to be fired on a pure ballistic trajectory and a depressed ballistic trajectory.

To Anon@5.12PM: The K-4 has never been fired from a submerged pontoon-encased silo.

To Shaurya: Most of the air forces who’ve gone for the fifth-generation F-35 JSF are those that are presently operating third-generation combat aircraft. Only exceptions are Australia, Italy, and the UK.

To Anon@8.04PM: BrahMos-1’s Block 3 hasn’t yet been deployed against China. It is still in the series-production stage. In future, the Prahaar too will be deployed along the LAC.

To Anon@3.18AM: The K-15 is solid-fuelled. What the writer has got confused about is the K-15’s ability to be fired on a pure ballistic trajectory and a depressed ballistic trajectory.

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